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Archive 2009 · IQ: d300 vs d700
  
 
timbop
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p.1 #1 · IQ: d300 vs d700


I'm hoping to get some firsthand comparisons of those that have owned /or do currently own both the d700 and d300. I currently shoot weddings with a 5d and 1dm2, but am seriously looking at moving to the combo of d300 and d700 (coupled with a 24-70 and 70-200vr). One thing that annoys me about my current kit is that the images from the 2 cameras need different levels of PP, and I'm wondering how different images from the d300 and d700 are. One thing I do love about the 5d is that the images straight out of the camera need almost no processing.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated, but I am not looking for someone to tell me to get one over the other - if I make the move I will get one of each. I also am not concerned too much about high ISO - I am planning to only shoot over 800 in an emergency.

Here's a sample of what I shoot:
www.pricelessimages.net/examples/index.html

Edited on Jul 22, 2009 at 01:50 AM · View previous versions



Jul 22, 2009 at 12:15 AM
Jammy Straub
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p.1 #2 · IQ: d300 vs d700


Buy two D700's

Do you shoot two bodies at once? Or are you more of a backup body and lens switcher on your main body? For me the 70-200 on a 1.5x is on the long side indoors.



Jul 22, 2009 at 12:18 AM
timbop
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p.1 #3 · IQ: d300 vs d700


I use 2 bodies at once, even slinging both over my shoulder for things like toasts/ceremony/etc where I am either trying to get 2 perspectives of the same thing, or reactions from the crowd. So, the 24-70 would stay on the d700 with the 70-200 on the d300. I can't swing 2 d700's, and I'm not sure I'd want to lose crop reach


Jul 22, 2009 at 12:32 AM
Jammy Straub
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p.1 #4 · IQ: d300 vs d700


Noise is going to be the most noticeable difference between the two. Check out:

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Nikon_D700/noise.shtml

Color and overall look should be almost identical. Nothing like the difference between a 1 series Canon and the 5D or xxD range.

You'll be able to boost the shadows on the D700 raw flies with less noise/than you will on the D700, so if you use a lot of fill light or tend to boost your shadow tones in post, that could become and issue. Doubtful in the grand scheme of things it'd matter much.

I see from your website you do a fair spread of things so I can see why you might like the full 12mp 1.5x crop from the D300.



Jul 22, 2009 at 12:48 AM
Kerry Pierce
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p.1 #5 · IQ: d300 vs d700


I own both and agree with Jammy. If I were doing weddings now, I'd have a pair of d700s. The d300 is very good and certainly would work okay as a wedding/event camera, but the d700 is simply a better tool for that application.

But, that depends greatly on you, your style of shooting, with/without flash, very high ISO use? and lastly, the raw conversion program that you use and whether or not you manipulate the files heavily in post.

ISO 1600 on the d300 is good, but ISO 3200 on the d700 is slightly better. That said, if I get the exposures correct, I do very little processing with either body, unless I feel like juicing up a shot. I use Phase One's Capture One for conversion and CS4 for final edits.

Another thing is that I still use flash a great deal. I have 3 sb-800s that I like to set up off camera, when possible and I do a lot of bounce shooting with the flash on camera at higher ISOs, when I can't use off camera flash.




Jul 22, 2009 at 01:04 AM
ghozer
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p.1 #6 · IQ: d300 vs d700


The D300 is a fine machine but the D700 will give you cleaner files at all ISOs. It's most noticeable at low ISOs in even toned areas like skies. The D700 is noticeably better and has a lot more post processing latitude (e.g. boosting shadows).


Jul 22, 2009 at 01:06 AM
timbop
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p.1 #7 · IQ: d300 vs d700


I also use flash indoors, and don't generally go over ISO 800 - so I'm not too worried about that. Other than the noise, are the colors/sharpness/saturation/etc relatively similar?


Jul 22, 2009 at 01:12 AM
luminosity
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p.1 #8 · IQ: d300 vs d700


The D700 produces noticeably cleaner and more colorful images at higher ISOs. Where the D300 starts to look washed out, the D700 is still going strong.

Check out flickr's hive mind site, and type in something like "Nikon, D700, ISO 3200" or just the first two. You'll be amazed.



Jul 22, 2009 at 01:25 AM
luminosity
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p.1 #9 · IQ: d300 vs d700


Heck, just look at this thread: http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/787846







That's 25000 ISO. That's incredible.

ISO 7200:





The D300 just cannot compete. Also, just a note, none of those images are mine. All credit goes to those who made the images.



Jul 22, 2009 at 01:42 AM
Kerry Pierce
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p.1 #10 · IQ: d300 vs d700


timbop wrote:
I also use flash indoors, and don't generally go over ISO 800 - so I'm not too worried about that. Other than the noise, are the colors/sharpness/saturation/etc relatively similar?


Yes, they are as similar as one would expect from 2 different cameras. Nikon has a general look and feel to its images, as do all of the other makers, but each generation is slightly different.

I can get the JPGs from both cameras to look very similar, just using the setting controls available in the cameras for WB, saturation, etc. If you're using capture NX or NX2, then all of that stuff is recognized and utilized in the raw converter.

I don't know if you'd be happy just throwing the files into a folder and batch processing them with ACR or something of that nature, because the colors will be somewhat different. How different would depend on the converter.

Another thing is that the cameras meter slightly different and the ISO ratings are not identical. This is true with every generation of nikon camera that I own.

I can send you a couple of raw files, taken of the same subject, if you wish. The raw files are generally well over 10mb each.








Jul 22, 2009 at 03:09 AM
 

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luminosity
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p.1 #11 · IQ: d300 vs d700


Both the D300 and D700 use the now-classic 1005 pixel RGB color meter. Shouldn't they be identical?


Jul 22, 2009 at 03:11 AM
PShizzy
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p.1 #12 · IQ: d300 vs d700


I've used a d300 and d3 on the same shoots before. the look is the same regarding color and saturation. where you get a difference is with DOF at the same effective focal length, and obviously noise past about 800

of course you should get 2 d700s, but given that you shoot no more than ISO 800, a d300 makes for a handy second camera. I'd be ok with a d700/300 combo.

Max



Jul 22, 2009 at 03:59 AM
R. Francois
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p.1 #13 · IQ: d300 vs d700


i have both the D300 and D700. The D300 is a fine camera. I always said i was going to keep the DX cameras because of their reach, af-point spread, etc yada yada. Recently i made some pictures in pretty harsh conditions with my D700 And everytime that camera is able to amaze me. Even @ iso200.
Fact is that my D300 is collecting dust and i'm trying to sell all my DX gear at this moment. If possible i'd advise you to get 2 fx cameras....



Jul 22, 2009 at 05:26 AM
Kit Laughlin
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p.1 #14 · IQ: d300 vs d700


I agree with Raymond and Kerry; had the D3/D300 combo, and sold the D3 and "back-traded" (if, indeed that's what is is) to the D700.

I do a great variety of work like others here; all I can say is that once I got the D700 working (changes in interface from D3, and so on) I found that I simply was never using the D300—so I sold it.

I do have an S5 pro which I find simply fantastic for some kinds of work (the latest 60/2.8 Nikkor on the S5 is the best portrait tool I have ever used; that stays on the body most of the time), Now, if I was shooting weddings (I do events which are similar in many ways) I would not personally be too concerned about getting exactly the same look, because I would be using the S5 for head and shoulder "live" portraits, and even though these images don't look the same as the D700's, they look great and customers love them. They have their own look, as you'd expect.

The D700 with the 14–24 is simply amazing, especially in low light and it is sharp wide open as many others have noted. I find the 24–70 just too big and heavy to use all day; I have the older but still good 37–70 instead.

hth, kl



Jul 22, 2009 at 07:44 AM
Chris Dees
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p.1 #15 · IQ: d300 vs d700


Like others already mentioned the files of the D3/D700 are much cleaner and more forgiven then the D300.
At first I used the D300 as my second camera for weddings but the images where too different for me (and noise).
Now I use the D3 in combination with the D700 (shared with a friend).
If necessary I put an 1.4x TC on the 70-200 for the reach.
Long story short; get two D700's if possible. I only use the D300 for birding/wildlife because of the reach.



Jul 22, 2009 at 09:29 AM
Andre Goli
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p.1 #16 · IQ: d300 vs d700


I think that if the message you got here is that you have better to buy 2xD700, why not go for 2 5D or better, a 5D and a 5DII ? Plus you will get the video hability of the 5DII which is dfinitively a plus for wedding. I agree in shooting with 2 similar bodies... For wedding, I shoot with a 5D and a 5DII, which is a awesome combo, and the customers love that I provide them some short videos as well... I got some contrats because of that by the way. Since you already own a 5D (and apparently satisfied), just trade your 1DII for a 5DII and you will be in business... Sounds much better than a radical change... And for cropping, the 5DII with its 21MP is so sweet... And for wedding, Canon's primes are much better (35L, 85L and 135L)...


Jul 22, 2009 at 10:02 AM
Kerry Pierce
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p.1 #17 · IQ: d300 vs d700


luminosity wrote:
Both the D300 and D700 use the now-classic 1005 pixel RGB color meter. Shouldn't they be identical?


That is for setting WB, among other things. I don't believe that each model is identical. IME, each model has its own differences in design. For example, ISO200 is not identical ISO200 across the d200, d300 and d700. IIRC, there was about a .3EV difference between the d300 and d700 at lower ISOs. Same with color temps, in that using a WB dropper on a white patch might bring 2800k on the d300 and 2650k on the d700. That means that there are subtle differences in the rendering of all of the colors.

Some people are very sensitive to noise and color differences, while others are not. That's why I would never say that the colors are identical. Some guy would put a dropper on sample images and find that one image was a couple points different on a shade of red than the other, therefor make me out to be a liar.

For me, the colors are close enough with the 2 cameras that I don't care. Perhaps the same would apply to the OP. But, I have no doubt that would not be a universal opinion.






Jul 22, 2009 at 01:01 PM
Kerry Pierce
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p.1 #18 · IQ: d300 vs d700


R. Francois wrote:
i have both the D300 and D700. The D300 is a fine camera. I always said i was going to keep the DX cameras because of their reach, af-point spread, etc yada yada. Recently i made some pictures in pretty harsh conditions with my D700 And everytime that camera is able to amaze me. Even @ iso200.
Fact is that my D300 is collecting dust and i'm trying to sell all my DX gear at this moment. If possible i'd advise you to get 2 fx cameras....


Ah, our latest Kool-Aid drinking FX fanatic!! Next, you're going to have to sell off all of that 3rd party glass and get some real glass.

I'm not going to go that far. I'm quite happy with using the d300 in tandem with the d700. Best of both worlds for me, not much different than using a d3 and a d3x, IMO. The d3x isn't a noise free camera, but it seems to suit folks enough to sell for $8k.





Jul 22, 2009 at 01:07 PM
Andre Labonte
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p.1 #19 · IQ: d300 vs d700


Kerry Pierce wrote:
Ah, our latest Kool-Aid drinking FX fanatic!! Next, you're going to have to sell off all of that 3rd party glass and get some real glass.

I'm not going to go that far. I'm quite happy with using the d300 in tandem with the d700. Best of both worlds for me, not much different than using a d3 and a d3x, IMO. The d3x isn't a noise free camera, but it seems to suit folks enough to sell for $8k.



The D700 & D300 combo is the "poor man's" way of getting the best of both worlds. The ultimate combo seems to me to be the D3x/D3. I don't have that kind of money and DX suits all my needs so that is where I'm staying.



Jul 22, 2009 at 01:24 PM
R. Francois
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p.1 #20 · IQ: d300 vs d700


Kerry Pierce wrote:
... Next, you're going to have to sell off all of that 3rd party glass and get some real glass.

....



i'm using real cokebottles, you know that!



Jul 22, 2009 at 01:42 PM
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